A Dundalk born priest has been savagely attacked with a hammer and locked into the bathroom of parochial house in Jonesborough in Newry.
Fr Dermot Maloney required hospital and dental treatment after he was attacked by the gang last Wednesday.
He sustained facial injuries including a split lip and damage to his teeth.
At around 11.30pm on Wednesday the priest discovered three youths in the office before they assaulted him and left him locked in a bathroom.
A native of Dundalk, Fr Maloney was ordained in 1987 and served in Dungannon, where he was very much involved in parish work particularly with youth, and was associated with a number of local schools.
He left the parish in 1995, but still has many links with the Dungannon area through his prior youth work.
Fr Maloney was affectionately known as ‘chief fundraiser’ when he was chairman of the Dungannon Youth Resource Centre, and was instrumental in securing the current premises in the old Saving Banks Street.
Police are continuing to investigate the savage attack on Fr Maloney.